When you think of inspiration what comes to mind? Inspirational people you’ve met, inspiring quotes you’ve seen, inspired ideas that you’ve witnessed come to life?
In the charity sector, we are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by inspiring people doing amazing things every day. That’s why for us the term inspiration usually goes hand in hand with thinking about the annual Inspiring Communicator Awards (ICAs). A celebration of passionate and enthusiastic individuals that have made a mark on those around them. The winners of this award are shining lights of the comms community nominated by their sector peers.
This year’s ICA winners stood out for many reasons, not least the way they give a voice to others. Here we gave them a voice to share what campaigns have inspired them this year…
Alzheimer’s Society – Asking the same question advert
Sharon Woodward, Media & PR manager, Kidney Care UK
Earlier this year I was at the cinema and this advert came up from the Alzheimer’s Society and it stopped me in my tracks. I just felt that it was a very simple story, told incredibly well and I wasn’t expecting to see it in a cinema either, so it really stayed with me. So much so that I remember posting in the Third Sector PR and Comms network group on Facebook a week later to give the team praise.
Girls who talk politics and Led By Donkeys – topical Instagram’s and eye catching billboards
Katy Styles, Founder, We Care Campaign
Seeing something slightly more edgy comms wise makes my heart sing. It gives me a virtual boost to keep going with my own posts. It’s been an incredibly tough year in terms of politics, policies and government so I like to pop over to Insta and catch up on @girlswhotalkpolitics who chunk up topical issues in bite-size pieces.
I’m always inspired by the work of @LedByDonkeys whose campaign videos and billboards nail it. I appreciate their simple Twitter style huge posters of quotes from politicians.
We mustn’t shy away from telling the truth to power.
Heart Research UK – ‘Her Disease’
Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, Associate medical director, British Heart Foundation
Dispelling the harmful myth that heart disease only affects middle-aged men is important to me as a cardiologist. For me, it is unacceptable that women are dying needlessly because society still sees this as a male problem and women don’t end up receiving the same standard of health care as men.
The BHF work hard to highlight this issue and to tackle the problem of women being underdiagnosed, undertreated and underrepresented in research.
That’s why I’ve been inspired by Heart Research UK’s recent campaign, ‘Her Disease’, and in particular its TV advert. The advert shows a middle-aged man eating a fry-up in a café, but it’s a waitress that falls to the floor while clutching her chest as she is having a heart attack. It was a powerful and emotive way to land a clear message that women have heart attacks too – in fact, a woman is twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease than from breast cancer in the UK.
ITV’s Get Britain Talking – The Breakthrough
Samaritans Brand & Marketing Team
A piece of comms that stood out this year is ‘The Breakthrough’ which was ITV’s Get Britain Talking supported by Mind Charity and Young Minds UK.
The essence of the comms is based on a truth that sometimes what we say is different to what we feel. With almost half of young people struggling with anxiety the comms is relevant and needed. The concept is also simple and impactful. The slow pace and feel of the film captures the vulnerability and awkwardness surrounding difficult conversations between a parent and child which we believe to be very relatable.
It shines a light on the importance of opening up and listening to each other. In a subtle way, it shows a willingness to help and connect with each other, which feels hopeful and authentic.
Mary’s Meals – ‘Big Family Christmas’ scheme
Ava Pearson, Young ambassador, Auditory Verbal UK
A piece of charity communications that really inspired me was Mary’s Meals’ ‘Big Family Christmas’ scheme. Mary’s Meals is a charity that feeds children in some of the poorest countries in the world, making sure they have enough food and energy to learn in schools to build better futures for themselves and their communities. The imagery of everyone coming together at Christmas reminds me how lucky I am, and inspired me to think about how I can help build a better future.
Mattel – Rose, Barbie and Friends campaign
Latifah Davis-Cole, PR Officer, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
There have been many campaigns this year that were brilliant and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2023 will bring. But, for me, Mattel’s Rose, Barbie and Friends campaign touched my heart for more reasons than one. Representation in children’s toys is so important regardless of disability, ethnicity, body shape or sexual orientation. Growing up, I had several Barbie and Ken dolls, but they didn’t look like real people, and certainly didn’t look like little me who had afro hair. Seeing Rose Ayling-Ellis front the campaign brought great joy. It’s a catalyst for change, and children of today are encouraged to celebrate their beautiful differences.”
Mencap – Myth busters project
Alison Kerry, Head of communications, Scope
This year I’ve really loved Mencap’s Myth busters project. The charity has overhauled their approach to working with celebrities, bringing in 18 new ambassadors who are all people living life with a learning disability. Supporters include well known figures such as fashion model Ellie Goldstein, Line of Duty actor Tommy Jessop alongside campaigners and activists. It puts centre stage people who are challenging misconceptions about what living life with a learning disability looks like.
NDCS – Sign with Fingers campaign
Paris Thompson, Ambassador, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity
I’ve really been inspired by the NDCS Sign with Fingers campaign with Cadburys. I was born profoundly deaf, and NDCS have been part of my life throughout. This year I was at Trafalgar Square with the deaf community campaigning for the BSL Act. As a family, we have all learnt British Sign Language which is a really important part of my deaf identity, and we had to search for this to be provided. The NDCS campaign is encouraging more people to get involved talking in British Sign Language, along with deaf awareness tips to include every deaf person, no matter how they communicate. As a bonus, Cadburys fingers have always been a sure favourite!
Sidemen FC – Charity Match
Theo Coyne, Partnerships manager, Right to Play UK
I was a big fan of the charity match between Sidemen FC and the YouTube Allstars in September. Teams filled with huge personalities from TikTok, YouTube and Twitch, bringing the world’s biggest social media stars together, as well as their fans, in a game of football to raise money. Not only did they raise over £1 million in just three hours for four charities, but they have also amassed an audience of 17 million online. A great example of fundraising and awareness from a new breed of philanthropists!
I must add, I also look outside the sector for inspiration and activations for campaigns and PlayStation’s creative has been brilliant recently.
Read all about this year’s Inspiring Communicators by heading over to our 2022 winners page.
Banner Image: Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels